I found a great article from the Journal of Education Technology & Society that described the effects of VR/AR in a Physics classroom (Liou, Yang, Chen, & Tarng, 2017). VR was described as reducing the cognitive load and burden when a student interacted with the simple virtual environment, thus increasing motivation in practice and experiential learning (Sweller, 1994; Bandura, 1986). To provide support through inquiry based learning in VR/AR environments, these STEM instructors found that both AR and VR had significant effects on students’ learning performance (Liou et al., 2017).
For example, if an environment was broken down into simple learning environments, like a research lab in Biology or Optics, we could record a video of the research environment with audio of a lecture describing the tools and materials within the research lab. If faculty mentors, were to use this VR strategy to orientate new students (graduate and undergraduate) into their physical lab space and particular machines that need to be mastered before actually using, it would save time and increase motivation of students to learn and complete tasks.
- Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought and action: A social cognitive theory. Englewood Cliffs, NJ, US: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
- Liou, H. H., Yang, S. J., Chen, S. Y., & Tarng, W. (2017). The influences of the 2D image-based augmented reality and virtual reality on student learning. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 20(3), 110-121.
- Sweller, J. (1994). Cognitive load theory, learning difficulty, and instructional design. Learning and instruction, 4(4), 295-312.